Saturday, December 15, 2012

Using the facts you read here may lead you to impress your friends with your knowledge about Reindeer this holiday season.

Did you know:

Reindeer are a species of deer whose natural habitat is the far northern areas of arctic Europe, Asia, and North America extending onto the tundra above the tree-line . The name for these deer found native to North America (including Greenland) is "Caribou", while in Europe it is known as the "Reindeer". They are the same species. The reindeer is thought to have first been domesticated by humans at least 3,000 years ago (and perhaps as long as 7,000 years ago) in northern Eurasia (Lapland), and still remains the only deer to be widely domesticated. Used as beasts of burden and farmed for milk, meat and their hides, reindeer have been the economic basis of the Lapp culture for centuries. However, because of their popularity, today they are raised in many areas of the world outside of their native arctic.

Reindeer are the only type of deer in which both male and female reindeer have antlers. Female reindeer retain their antlers until they give birth to their young in the spring. Keeping their antlers throughout the winter ensures they are able to compete for food while pregnant. Male reindeer shed their antlers each winter.

Male reindeer have much louder calls than females, especially during rutting season. When bellowing is necessary, they inflate a small pouch just under the skin of their throats.

Reindeer have a strong sense of smell, and it's that sense of smell that assist them in finding the lichen under the snow. They can sniff out the plant material easily, even through snow that is 60 centimeters deep.

Reindeer were built for the snow and cold. Their bodies react to changes in temperatures by making adjustments. When temperatures become frigid, they have the uncanny ability to lower the temperature in their legs to near freezing levels. This keeps their core body heat even.

For winter grazing they grow their facial hair long enough to cover their mouths, protecting their muzzles from the snow.

… and we all know Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but he actually wasn't in the original list of Santa's reindeer names in "Twas The Night Before Christmas". The classic Christmas poem, first published in 1823, calls out the following reindeer names:

1. Dasher
2. Dancer
3. Prancer
4. Vixen
5. Comet
6. Cupid
7. Dunder
8. Blixem

And I thought this idea was adorable “Reindeer Food”! There are several variations to this in cyber land. I mixed 1 large container of oatmeal with an 8oz jar of red glitter. I then filled recycled Starbucks Coffee bottles and decorated them.

The poem on the tag reads:

Be sure to take this
magic food and sprinkle
on the lawn,
On Christmas, Santa's
reindeer travel miles
before the dawn.
The smell of oats
and the glitter
path will guide them
on their way,
And you'll wake
up to Santa's
gifts next morn on
Christmas Day!

Be sure to check out this site:

Reindeer Cam “Santa’s Official Reindeer Live Feed”

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